08:05 GMT +325 April 2018
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    'Friends Never Say Goodbye': German Finance Minister Scholz on Brexit

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    The German politician is striving for close relations with the UK after its withdrawal from the EU and is advocating for the country to remain a member of the European single market as well as the customs union.

    Olaf Scholz quoted Elton John's "Friends Never Say Goodbye" when he pondered the future relationship between Britain and the EU, German newspaper Die Welt reported.

    On Monday afternoon, Scholz met for the first time with his British counterpart Philip Hammond to exchange views on the future relationship between the countries after Brexit.

    According to the media outlet, Germany's new finance minister — whom Die Welt described as the most British-minded person among the 27 EU finance ministers — has left no doubt that he would seek a friendly relationship with London post-Brexit.

    Both, Hammond and Scholz, would prefer Britain to remain a member of the European single market as well as the customs union, and oppose a free trade agreement being mulled by Theresa May's government.

    READ MORE: 'A Lot to Lose': Tony Blair Wants Germany's Merkel to Block Brexit

    However, a significant change in the German political course is unlikely, the media outlet noted, referring to the SPD's budget expert Johannes Kahrs.

    "We expect that for the Federal Finance Minister the unity of the EU has higher priority than the fate of a single country," Kahrs was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

    The UK is due to leave the European Union in March 2019, and negotiations on how close the trade relationship with Europe will be after Brexit are ongoing.

    These talks are slated and due to wrap up by the end of March, 2019.


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